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What is the Texas statute of limitations for medical malpractice lawsuits?
Let’s start with the basics. A “statute of limitations” is a
law that sets a time limit on a prospective plaintiff’s right to go to civil court
and file a lawsuit after suffering some type of harm or loss. Every state has
these kinds of laws on the books, and there are different deadlines for
different kinds of cases.
Like a lot of states, Texas has a specific statute of
limitations for medical malpractice cases. You can find this law at Texas Civil
Practice and Remedies Code section 74.251. The key provision of this statute says:
“No health care liability claim may be commenced unless the action is
filed within two years from the occurrence of the breach or tort or from the
date the medical or health care treatment that is the subject of the claim or
the hospitalization for which the claim is made is completed.
So, starting from the day on which you suffer some type of
injury or harm because of medical
malpractice, you have two years to go to court and get your lawsuit filed.
Or, if the harm occurred as part of an ongoing course of health care treatment,
the two year “clock” doesn’t start running until that course of treatment is
Texas also has a rule in place that says once more than 10
years have passed since the alleged medical
error occurred, you will have lost your right to file a medical malpractice
lawsuit in Texas. This is known as a “statute of repose,” and it acts as
something of a larger catch-all filing deadline.
And finally, a note on medical malpractice lawsuits that are filed
on behalf of young children: In Texas, when a child under the age of 12 is the
plaintiff, a medical malpractice lawsuit must be filed by that child’s 14th
Medical Malpractice Cases In-Depth
by: David Goguen,
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